§ Mr. Hutton
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what national health service trusts allow community health councils to attend board meetings as observers;
(2) which national health service trusts hold their regular board meetings in public.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
National health service trusts are obliged by law to hold at least one public meeting each year and local community health councils retain the right to visit trust facilities. We are aware that many trusts go beyond the legal requirements on public access. However, provided that the legal requirements are met, the frequency of public meetings and attendance at them is a matter for individual trusts and the detailed information requested is not available centrally.